The dredging of Georgica Pond is done annually by the East Hampton Town Trustees. A permit from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, (NYSDEC) provides for 15,000 cubic yards of sand to be removed from the mouth and 950 cubic yards of sand to be removed from Georgica Cove.
Every year during the winter months the ocean currents, waves, and wind fill the lower portion of the pond with sand. The dredging of the bottom of the pond helps to balance the influx of sand from the ocean. Large amounts of sand that accumulate in the pond reduces the necessary circulation to keep the pond free of various pollutants.
In addition, dredging also helps keep the pond waters and bottomlands healthy – if the pond becomes shallow, during the summer months the water temperature rises which encourages harmful algal blooms to grow.
The collected dredged sand is redistributed along the shoreline as replenishment for the beach and dunes that have been diminished due to on-going annual coastal erosion.
The permit from the DEC requires that the dredging must be completed by March 31st as piping plovers, considered to be threatened, soon come to lay their eggs and nest. The ten-year maintenance dredging permit was issued to the East Hampton Town Trustees in 2018.
In addition to dredging, twice a year the trustees “let” the pond to flow into the ocean and in return, the ocean waters enter the pond- as a result, the salinity and health of the pond is maintained and benefits both marine and plant life as well.